Rideshare Injury Attorney in Central Florida
Ridesharing has upended the traditional taxi industry throughout the nation, and Orlando is no exception. Floridians now call an Uber or Lyft to take them to the airport or home from a night out as often as, if not more than, they call a taxi or drive themselves. Calling a ride has numerous benefits, from relatively low cost to the convenience of never worrying about finding a place to park or making a bad decision after having a few drinks.
Still, ridesharing also has an inevitable downside. Rides can end in accidents that injure or kill riders and others. Riders and drivers alike at times fall victim to assaults and other violent crimes.
A rideshare gone wrong can turn your life inside-out, leaving you badly injured or mourning the loss of a loved one. Orlando-area residents and visitors who find themselves in that unfortunate situation deserve strong, sophisticated personal injury legal representation to help them recover the compensation they deserve. Contact the Law Offices of Jerry Jenkins today to learn more.
Our Rideshare Injury Law Practice
Attorney Jerry Jenkins fights for the rights of Orlando residents and visitors injured because of someone else’s careless, reckless, or intentionally-harmful conduct. Increasingly, his practice has focused on guiding injured clients through the unique legal and factual issues that accompany ridesharing accidents and incidents. Although car accidents and other harmful incidents happen every day throughout Central Florida, a connection to ridesharing adds potential complications because Florida law has not yet evolved to catch up with that industry.
That is why victims of ridesharing-related accidents and incidents should seek help from a lawyer like Jerry Jenkins, who stays up-to-date on the latest developments in Florida law and knows how to put those legal principles to work for his clients. Over his 12 years of law practice, Jerry has established a reputation in the Orlando legal community as a tough fighter in and out of the courtroom. No case has a guaranteed outcome, but Jerry’s clients can always rest assured they have a lawyer on their side who will go to bat for them and who will bring the latest legal arguments to bear to get them the money they deserve for their ridesharing-related injuries.
Ride Sharing Insurance Requirements in Florida
Most Florida motorists understand that the Sunshine State has a somewhat complicated, even controversial, system of auto insurance. Ours is a no-fault state, which means that anyone who registers a car here must carry, among other coverages, a minimum amount of personal injury protection (PIP) coverage to pay their own medical and disability-related expenses in the event of getting hurt in a motor vehicle accident, regardless of who bears fault for the accident.
PIP coverage applies to accidents those motorists get into while they are behind the wheel, riding as passengers in someone else’s car, and even if they get hit by a car while riding a bike or crossing the street on foot.
Ridesharing drivers, who use their personal vehicles to give rides arranged by an app, must carry the same insurance. However, since 2017, Florida law has required those drivers to carry additional insurance coverages that apply during two distinct intervals of time:
- For times when the driver is logged-on to a ridesharing app, the driver must carry “primary automobile liability coverage of at least $50,000 for death and bodily injury per person, $100,000 for death and bodily injury per incident, and $25,000 for property damage”;
- For times when the driver is engaged in a prearranged ride, the driver must carry “primary automobile liability coverage of at least $1 million for death, bodily injury, and property damage.”
Most personal auto insurance policies do not provide this supplemental coverage. Rather, ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft typically provide the coverage to drivers as part of certifying them as drivers for those companies.
What do these varying levels of coverage mean for injured accident victims and others who get hurt in incidents involving a rideshare? A lot, potentially. For one thing, the amount of insurance money potentially available to pay a claim may depend on the somewhat arbitrary distinction between a driver who is logged-on to an app but has not yet found a fare, and one who has connected with a ride request. For another, because rideshare drivers frequently drive for multiple rideshare services, the insurance available may depend upon evaluating which service a driver was logged-on to at any given moment.
Suing Ridesharing Companies
Florida law mandating larger insurance coverages for ridesharing drivers certainly helps keep rideshare passengers and other motorists safe. However, questions often arise about whether ridesharing companies themselves should face liability for injuries caused by their drivers’ actions. For now, that remains a heated legal issue.
On one hand, ridesharing companies insist that their drivers qualify as independent contractors under state labor laws, which would typically absolve the companies of any legal responsibility for the drivers’ conduct.
On the other hand, legal battles in other states have challenged that notion, and strong arguments exist for holding ridesharing companies accountable for the harmful effects of their companywide policies and actions. For example, the apps ridesharing companies distribute to drivers have the potential to cause significant distractions behind the wheel, and might arguably put the companies on the hook for distracted-driving accidents. Similarly, ridesharing companies’ failures to screen drivers carefully-enough, or to monitor the safety of drivers’ personal vehicles, could arguably constitute policies that put riders and others at risk.
Legal issues surrounding whether injured accident and incident victims can sue ridesharing companies continue to evolve around questions just like these. As a lawyer who is committed to fighting for his clients’ rights, Jerry Jenkins does not shy away from standing up to anyone—an individual, an insurer, or a giant ridesharing company—if that’s what it takes to recover fair and appropriate compensation for someone’s injuries.
Do not hesitate to contact Jerry Jenkins to discuss any harm you suffered in an accident or incident involving a ride share company. If someone other than an experienced lawyer tells you that you definitely cannot sue Uber or Lyft for a drivers’ actions, do not listen to them. Your particular circumstances may give you significant rights under the still-developing Florida law surrounding ride sharing company liability for personal injuries. Regardless of whom you can hold accountable, Jerry Jenkins will fight to make sure you recover all of the compensation to which Florida law entitles you.
Legal Rights Against Other Parties in a Ridesharing Accident
Just because a ride share-related accident or incident happened does not always mean the rideshare driver bears all (or even any) of the blame. Experienced Florida rideshare attorneys like Jerry Jenkins know that to maximize a client’s financial compensation for injuries relating to a rideshare, they must look beyond the driver to other parties who may share legal liability. As a general proposition, the more parties who may have liability, the higher the probabilities of a client recovering every dollar of compensation deserved for serious injuries or a tragic loss.
Take, for example, a typical Orlando traffic accident involving a rideshare. At an intersection, a car driven by a rideshare driver collides with a commercial delivery van, injuring the van driver and the rideshare driver’s passenger. Orlando police arrive at the scene to find the delivery driver clearly intoxicated.
It turns out, the delivery driver had stopped off at a bar on his lunch break and had consumed five tequila shots before getting back behind the wheel. Police also discover that a municipal road crew had removed, and failed to replace, a stop sign that would have alerted the rideshare driver that the intersection was a four-way stop.
In that scenario, the rideshare driver (and the insurance that covers the ride) might well have some liability for the passenger’s injuries, but so might:
- The delivery driver, whose intoxication could well have caused the accident;
- The delivery driver’s employer, who generally must answer for any employee’s conduct, and who may also have liability for having known about the employee’s apparent drinking problem but failing to stop the employee from driving;
- The bar that served the delivery driver, if he was visibly intoxicated before he had his last drink and left the bar; and
- Possibly, the local government agency responsible for a road crew removing, and not replacing, a stop sign at an intersection.
This is just one example, of course. It illustrates, however, something that lawyers like Jerry Jenkins know about rideshare accidents in Orlando: to give a client the best shot at recovering full compensation, you often have to look at the accident as both a ride share-related incident, and as a plain-vanilla traffic incident, and from there piece together a picture of all of the individuals and entities who may have legal liability for damages to an injured client.
Frequently Asked Questions About Orlando Ride Share Accidents
Attorney Jerry Jenkins’ clients and potential clients frequently ask him questions about injuries they have suffered in ride share-related crashes and incidents. Below, Jerry answers a few of the most common of those questions.
I got hit by a driver with multiple rideshare stickers on his windshield. What do I need to know to evaluate my legal options for getting compensated?
Remember, Florida is a no-fault insurance state, and it takes a tiered approach to insurance for rideshare drivers. Victims of an accident involving a rideshare driver first need to know if they, personally, carry PIP insurance that may cover them first, before any other coverage.
Next, victims need to know whether the rideshare driver was logged-in to an app at the moment of impact, and if so, which one(s). Furthermore, they need to find out if the rideshare driver had connected to a ride, or had a passenger, at the moment of impact. Answers to these questions will help to paint a picture of the potential insurance coverages available to pay for the victim’s injuries.
I think the rideshare company should share some of the blame for the accident that injured me. Can I sue them?
Possibly, but it all depends on exactly what happened in your accident or incident. If you think you ought to have the right to take legal action against a rideshare company for an injury you suffered, then contact the Law Office of Jerry Jenkins, P.A., for a free case evaluation. You may have the right to hold a rideshare company accountable, but even if you don’t, maybe we can find other ways to recover the compensation you deserve.
What are my rights if a rideshare company driver assaulted me?
If a rideshare company driver has assaulted you, then we encourage you to contact law enforcement right away. Separately, you may want to speak with an experienced Orlando rideshare accident lawyer. Assault is not just a crime, it is also an act that makes the perpetrator (and, potentially, others) legally liable to you for damages in many instances.
I am a rideshare driver and I got hurt in an accident that wasn’t my fault. Can you help me?
Probably! Jerry Jenkins represents victims of personal injury of all types, including rideshare drivers injured through no fault of their own in an accident, or in any other scenario (such as getting assaulted by a passenger).
Hire Our Strong, Experienced Orlando Ride Share Accident Injury Lawyers
Florida law surrounding ride shares continues to evolve, presenting complexities for victims of accidents and incidents involving ride shares. If an Orlando area ride share-related accident or incident has left you injured or mourning the loss of a loved one, contact attorney Jerry Jenkins and his team today.
Jerry Jenkins has the resources, experience, and knowledge to stay on top of the latest developments in Florida rideshare law that potentially affect his clients’ rights, and to fight on their behalf to get them the compensation they deserve. You can reach Jerry Jenkins online or by phone at (407) 287-6757 for a free consultation.